What is the difference between arthritis and osteoarthritis?

Arthritis means joint inflammation. There are many types of arthritis, amongst which is osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects the cartilage, the subchondral bone and the synovial membrane (synovitis) that can often appear with inflammation and can may increase with age.

Is osteoarthritis hereditary?

There is a genetic predisposition to suffering from osteoarthritis in some cases. For example, in osteoarthritis of the fingers, there is a specific genetic anomaly that particularly affects women. With the exception of these cases, genetic inheritance is not a factor that should be feared too much.

Does osteoarthritis develop in the same way in everyone?

No, there is no common guideline that can be applied to all patients and to everything related to the disease. Each person is different. In some people the disease develops faster or its symptoms are more important than in others.

Is osteoarthritis a disease of the elderly?

No. Although it is true that the degeneration of the joint cartilage is linked to age, osteoarthritis also appears in young athletes. The Spanish Rheumatology Society analysed the incidence of symptomatic osteoarthritis of knees and hands through a study in the year 2000, proving the existence of osteoarthritis in patients under 50 years of age. In spite of this, its progression clearly increases with age.

What can I do to improve my joint health?

Avoid the disease’s modifiable risk factors, such as obesity, an excessively sedentary lifestyle and overloading the joints.

Will losing weight improve my osteoarthritis?

Yes, given that reducing the strain that our joints have to bear will help to remove the stress from them and prevent them from wearing out prematurely.

I am in pain due to osteoarthritis. Should I stop exercising?

As was specified in the previous sections, we should not overload the joint, although we should not stop performing physical activity, since this will worsen the osteoarthritis and make the person more dependent and disabled.

Which exercises are the most recommended for osteoarthritis?

Walking, swimming or cycling. We should avoid impact sports such as basketball or football.

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“It is a special year for me, and it’s because of you, Doctor Vergés. You do not know how much I am satisfied to have come to meet you and to have followed your advice and to put myself in hands of M. The way you are helping me it’s priceless. I am very grateful and I have no words to thank you. Huge Hug!”

O.H. /  OAFI Patient